Whether you’re commuting to work or school, running errands, or taking a road trip, driving is a means to an end for most of us; but for truck drivers, the road is their office. When we share their work environment, there are many ways for us to ensure their safety as well as our own.
Be aware of their blind spots. Nearly one-third of fatal car and truck accidents when a vehicle is in a truck’s blind spot. Be aware of where a truck driver’s blind spots are and be sure not to drive in them.
Maintain proper following distance. Truck drivers need at least twice the amount of space to come to a complete stop as a car, so you are more like to rear end them than they are you. Keep a following distance of at least four seconds to ensure they have plenty of room to come to a stop.
Be cautious when passing and merging. Because of their blind spots, it can be difficult for truck drivers to see your turn signals and when you are passing them. Make sure you don’t stay in their blind spots when passing, give them plenty of time to see your signals before merging, and give them more than enough clearance when pulling in front of them.
Give them plenty of room to turn. When making right turns, truck drivers turn wide and then bring the trailer back toward the curb. Make sure you give truckers plenty of room to make their turn, stay where they can see you, and use your signals to communicate at intersections.
Give assistance. Truck drivers need a lot of space to change lanes and merge. Respect their knowledge and experience, they may see something ahead that you don’t. Slow down to leave room for them and flash your lights to indicate that your willingness to help.
Be aware! Truckers are professionals committed to safe driving, however, a distracted driver endangers everyone around them. Cell phones, reaching for an object in your car, and simply diverting your attention away from the road can be deadly for you and the other drivers around you.
Know these ways to help truck drivers, and stay committed to making the road a safe environment for you and for them. Everyone deserves to feel safe at work!